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“Dress for Success”- is it All in Your Head?

Everyone knows the phrase “dress for success” and assumes that this means you should always dress up for work or a professional event. An article written by The Muse called “The Scientific Reason Why Dressing for Success Works (With a Twist, Of Course)” highlights scientific studies which show that simply dressing differently from your usual attire delivers confidence that you didn’t know you had.

If your everyday clothing routine usually consists of throwing on a T-shirt, your favorite pair of jeans, and some comfortable sneakers, you might want to swap that out for a suit before you head to your next interview. Adding some extra effort to look “put together” for a job interview will give you an extra boost of confidence to make you stand out to your potential employer. It will increase your inner confidence, as well as the hiring manager’s confidence in you and your ability to be professional.

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On the other hand, the same confidence can occur if you dress down in your place of employment that usually has a strictly professional dress code. Scientifically this gives the impression that you are better at your job than you actually are. Dressing casually in a place where everyone is dressed to the 9s causes the same effect that dressing in a suit when you usually wear jeans will. If you dress in a way that is not the norm for you, expect to act differently whether it is actually improving your abilities, or just making people think you are a mastermind at your job.

The Muse highlights a study based on Harvard Business School research that analyzed students’ opinions of college professors:

“The authors described two male college professors—one clean-shaven and dressed in a suit, the other with a beard and a T-shirt—and asked college students to rate each man’s skills as a teacher and researcher. True to what the authors had observed in their field study, the students thought more highly of the casual professor—but only when the descriptions mentioned that the professors worked at prestigious universities with formal dress codes. In other words, it wasn’t the casual dress itself that inspired more confidence; it was the nonconformist attitude that the casual outfit signified—which, in turn, is seen as a ‘reflect[ion of] high levels of autonomy and control.”

Overall, your appearance doesn’t just affect your own attitude, but it affects those around you as well. So, “dress for success” and remember, “look good, feel good.”

Read the whole article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-scientific-reason-why-dressing-for-success-works-with-a-twist-of-course?ref=carousel-slide-1

PR – Not Just For the Workweek

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It’s so easy to become completely consumed in the exciting and fast-paced world of a public relations firm. However, after an eventful week, it’s finally Friday! Utilize these next two days to refresh and regroup from the everyday hustle and bustle by taking some time to get involved in PR activities outside of the office.

While you may be tempted to leave work at the office, incorporating PR inspired activities during your personal time will help you remember why you first decided to break into the industry. Whether you are a working professional or even a student, there are plenty of ways to become more involved in the PR community this weekend.

Here are three suggestions from PR Daily to get involved in PR activities this weekend:

1. Join a PR-Industry Organization

Being a PR professional is exciting because there are so many organizations you can join to help you relate with your peers.

A few favorites are the Public Relations Society of America, PR Council and Publicity Club of New England (locally the Publicity Club of Chicago).

Being part of these organizations—and working alongside those who run them—give PR pros opportunities to meet many local communications pros along the way. You can also learn new tips and tricks, which you can then share with colleagues.

2. Focus on Trade Shows

Spring and fall are typically the biggest trade-show seasons for PR executives.

In the trade show off-season, research events that would be useful from a knowledge-share perspective that your client isn’t attending. This will give you the opportunity to attend workshops and network without client demands.

3. Attend Networking Events

Major cities like Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco often host mixers and socials that bring together PR pros with common interest, such as technology or consumer products. These types of events are great for recruitment and new business prospecting.

Client responsibilities are the number one priority, but by making time for industry activities, you create opportunities to bring even more creative ideas to your client campaigns. Even for students, there is the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has chapters at campus’ across the country.

Hopefully these idea have inspired you to try something new you can start next week fresh, rested and ready to take on new challenges!

Read PR Daily’s full article here: http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19460.aspx

How to Evolve as a Public Relations Professional

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Today, public relations is vital to every brand, industry and individual. The PR profession has progressed into much more than just basic communications; it now includes media relations, planning for crises, media counseling and training, social media and much more. Since PR’s scope is increasing every day, it’s important for PR professionals to hone their skills based on the advancements in technology and PR. PR Daily seemed to agree with us when they shared “5 Ways for PR Pros to Step up Their Game”. Here are the top three that stood out to us:

  • Increase Social Media Skills.

Social media continues to gain popularity every day, so using it to your advantage is important if you want to stay relevant as a PR professional. Use both personal and client social media platforms to post newsworthy articles and communicate with other professionals and brands. Social media is also a great way to gain exposure for your own business and the business of your clients, while always making connections and networking.

  • Get Away from Phones and Computers to make Human Connections.

Online networking is great, but it isn’t everything. Face-to-face connections are still vital to creating personal relationships. Other professionals will see that you are responsible and committed to your work and gaining their trust. It makes clients feel more comfortable as well because they see how much their business means to you

  • Be Nice.

A PR professional’s main job is to be of service to clients. So, being nice goes a long way when it comes to building personal relationships with brands and clients. Business will come easier and more people will respect and trust you if you also treat them with respect.

What are some other ways you stay current in the field of PR? To check out the other tips from PR Daily, visit: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19164.aspx

Taking Control of Your Personal Brand

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Building a personal brand, or the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers, has become an important tool in becoming more successful in the age of technology. Due to the quick spread of social media, online profiles have become some of the most effective resources to enhance your career and personal brand, as well as build boundaries between your professional and private life.

Here are our four favorite tips from Forbes on how to control your personal brand on social media in an authentic way:

  1. Embrace your story: Get used to sharing how you landed your dream job, the mistakes you made or where you went to college with others because it will ultimately help you make relationships and market yourself to influencers. Make sure you’re the primary force in telling your story to the rest of the world.
  2. Reach out: Some people go too far in trying to keep their privacy and reputation from being damaged on social media by shrinking their digital presence. When doing this, a digital search of their name means nothing. Be your own advocate and don’t be afraid to market yourself based on who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
  3. Make an impression: Your picture and profile content heavily influence a first impression. Make your profile true to you but remember to always stay professional. Sharing and publishing ideas that can help other people get a better understanding of who you are and what you’re passionate about can also help make lasting impressions on future employers or clients.
  4. Know your limits: When it comes to building a personal brand, the challenge is to portray yourself in the best light as well as being authentic to who you are. Know when posting pictures from last night is a good or bad decision. Understand the boundaries of your personal and professional life by thinking “would I want to explain this to my boss?” before you post it. Everything on social media can be seen by employers so if you are questioning whether or not you should post the picture – don’t do it!

How to Make the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources for working professionals, but few users understand every feature the site has to offer. Sylvan Lane shares “8 Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn Power Users” on Mashable and here are our top 3:

1. Set up anonymous profile viewing

Though Lane admits “it’s natural to want to delve a little deeper into someone’s professional past,” LinkedIn automatically notifies users when their profile is viewed. By changing profile settings to anonymous, one can search the LinkedIn network without the fear of appearing creepy.

2. Ask connections to leave you recommendations

The point of making connections on LinkedIn is so friends and colleagues can bolster your professional profile. While it might be awkward to ask for these endorsements, “these recommendations add immediate credibility and depth to your experience,” Lane notes. LinkedIn connections are mutually beneficial relationships, so don’t forget to recommend others as well.

3. Save job searches and receive email alerts

One of LinkedIn’s most helpful resources is its job search tool. Don’t have time to sift through lengthy job postings? Save searches and opt to receive email alerts daily, weekly or monthly. This is the perfect way to make LinkedIn “work for you, as you look for work yourself,” Lane concludes. Your dream job could be hiding in your inbox disguised as an email from LinkedIn!

Get more tips and tricks to step up your LinkedIn game here: http://mashable.com/2014/08/07/linkedin-tips-and-tricks/

How to Avoid Time Traps: A Lesson on Productivity

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In the busy day-to-day work of a PR professional, there are many days where it feels as though there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some weeks this cannot be helped—but other times it is more about how we use the time we have. PR Daily’s article “The top 5 workplace time traps,” demonstrates how getting everything done in the workday is all about efficiency. The author, Laura Stack, has been a productivity expert for over 20 years and lists the five major problems workers face as the following—poor prioritization, distractions and interruptions, overwork, poor self-discipline and poor organization.

Having a strong game plan when entering the office is the first step. Whether using lists, flagged emails or calendar alerts it is necessary to stay organized. The best PR professionals understand that efficiency is all about prioritization—knowing what needs to get accomplished by the end of the day and in what order. Stack recommends when feeling overwhelmed with work to “drop anything you can, give misallocated tasks to the people they really belong to, and delegate whenever possible. Move ‘someday’ tasks back to your Master List until you have time to deal with them.”

Stack also speaks about distractions in the workplace, whether it be coworkers, email alerts or other office conversations. These distractions can make workers unfocused, causing valuable work time to be lost. Her recommendations in a time crunch is “don’t answer emails and phone calls as soon as they come in. Turn off email alerts and let calls roll over to voice mail.” The distractions themselves not only waste time, but even more time is then lost trying to find our place before we were distracted.

This advice can help guide workers towards a lifestyle that is productive and therefore allows them to enjoy their lives outside of the workplace. Laura lists overwork as number four in her list of problems, stating that as employees are assigned more and more work, “Time remains our most precious resource; we can give up only so much of the time we need for sleep, good health, socializing, family, and the other things that make life worth living. You have no choice but to more firmly control your behavior. Trim away the unimportant and tightly control how you spend every minute of your workday. Firm, consistent time management and hard work are the only ways to pull out of this trap.”

While breaking free of these habits is not easy, learning how to become more productive will allow for better time management and more activities outside of the office.

Read Laura Stark’s article about how to tackle work efficiently here: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/17029.aspx

 

3 Tasks to Accomplish Before Taking Time Off

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With Independence Day just around the corner, many working professionals are looking forward to a long weekend away from the office. Before jetting off to a tropical destination, loose ends need to be tied up at work. Cori Sue Morris highlights 6 tasks to cross off your to-do list before leaving for vacation on Levo League, here are our top 3:

1.       Send Off Items for Review

Keep projects on-task in your absence by sending documents off for review in advance. “Whether it’s a quarterly report, project for a client or a PowerPoint for new business strategy, a lengthy document delivered to a supervisor in advance of your vacation keeps the work moving along the project timeline while you’re on the beach”, Morris says. Your colleagues and supervisor will be discussing your efforts while you’re gone, so you’ll be out of sight but not out of mind.

2.       Organize Files in a Public Space

“In advance of your departure, edit, label and organize relevant files in an easily accessible folder on your organization’s shared drive, server or cloud”, Morris advises. Avoid leaving your coworkers hanging by granting them access to all your essential documents. After organizing your documents, organize your office as well! After a relaxing weekend, you’ll want to return to a clean desk.

3.       Set Your Out-of-Office the Right Way

Vacations are meant for relaxation and rejuvenation, not constantly checking email. Set a professional out-of-office message by listing “the contact information for your substitutes, a link to your files on the shared drive, and the date of your return”. Power down your iPhone and enjoy great weather and great company!

Preparing for a vacation is almost as important as the vacation itself. Follow these steps to ensure a smoothly-running trip that will leave you feeling rested, focused and motivated.

Read the full article here: http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/dont-go-on-vacation-before-doing-these-6-things

Women in PR: Audrey Gelman

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Paramount PR is introducing a new blog series called “Women in PR” in which we highlight prominent women who have had an impact in the public relations world. Today, learn more about a rising force in the political PR world, Audrey Gelman.

At twenty-six, Audrey Gelman has a resume most PR professionals would envy. Shortly after graduating from NYU, Gelman became deputy press secretary for Scott Stringer in his campaign for Manhattan borough president. Running against the infamous Eliot Spitzer, Stringer was lacking serious name-recognition. Gelman gave Stringer’s campaign new life with a millennial PR approach. She hosted what New York Magazine called “the most hip fund-raiser in the history of the office of the New York City comptroller”. By inviting high-profile celebrities, like Girls creator Lena Dunham, Gelman successfully made comptroller politics cool. The event was covered by influential national media like Page Six, Refinery 29 and Vogue and made Scott Stringer a household name and eventual winner of the election.

Beyond her work with Stinger’s campaign, Gelman found time to revive Downtown 4 Democracy, a political action committee. Again, Gelman made progressive politics hip by hosting a casual, celebrity-endorsed launch barbecue. Gelman understands her demographic and the importance of tastemakers in the world of PR. Young people, she tells New York Magazine, “influence what America wears, watches, reads, and listens to — they have an opportunity to harness that influence.”

We can’t help but admire Audrey Gelman, not only for her PR efforts but also for her ambitious attitude. She currently serves as vice president of the strategic communications-consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and is the inspiration for the character Marnie on Girls. Gelman’s refreshing take on political PR has established her as an “It Girl” that female PR professionals can look up to.

To learn more about Audrey Gelman, check out this article from The New York Times.

Top Recruiter Reveals the Components of a Superb Résumé

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Creating a professional résumé is the first step in any job search. Tony Beshara, president of Babich & Associates and author of Unbeatable Résumés, discusses résumés and their importance (or lack thereof) in a job search in an article on Forbes.com. Here’s our summary of Beshara’s top three pieces of advice:

1. Keep it simple. Avoid “fancy-schmancy” font, layout, color and language. Consistency is key, so choose a classic font like Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size in black against white paper. “You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for”, says Beshara, but don’t use bold, italics or underlining excessively. Be sure to format your résumé in a standard Word document that can be accessed on all computers.

2. Use a reverse chronological order. No need to include your cashier job from high school when listing your job history. Keep content recent and relevant to the job you’re applying to. Job history is an important part of any résumé, so don’t leave out any details. “List your present, or most recent job, first, and then work backwards. You state the complete name of the company you work for, or have worked for, and what they do, how long you were there–month and year”, Beshara advises. Use number and statistics to share your accomplishments, for example “Increased profits by 32%”.

3. Don’t obsess over your resume! Though regularly updating your résumé is important, “the purpose of the résumé is to help get you an interview…40 percent of a hiring decision is based on personality”, Beshara notes. Focus instead on networking, both digital and in-person. Beshara estimates that60 percent who find jobs have located them through networking.”

Whether you are a recent college graduate or a senior executive looking for a change, remember to balance your energy on each step of the job search and utilize every resource.

Read the full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2011/08/24/want-an-unbeatable-resume-read-these-tips-from-a-top-recruiter/

Get Important People to Respond to Your Emails

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Email is the most common form of communication in countless fields of business, including PR. Whether connecting with clients, media contacts or coworkers, PR specialists are constantly building professional relationships through email. In a recent article, Levo League compiled five tips from Brazen Life for becoming an expert in the art of email. Here are our top three:

1. Be brief

A successful career leads to a busy life! Influential people don’t have time to read through long, winding emails, so present the essential content right away. Be very clear in what you want and why your message is important to your contact. “A long email is like the stranger who reveals their life story five minutes after you shake their hand. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Short messages decrease the chance your contact drags your email into their trash folder”, Brazen Life says. Keep things simple to save time on both ends.

2. Keep it genuine

Trust is the basis of all positive professional relationships. Create this trust with your contact by making your intentions clear. Avoid an automatic delete by keeping content honest and likeable. “Successful people develop a B.S. detector after constantly having others compete for their time and attention”, notes Brazen Life. Never underestimate the importance of authenticity.

3. Show you’re already winning

Don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments! Gain credibility by sharing a recent or unique project with your contact. “The message conveyed is that you don’t mooch, and that establishing a professional relationship with you won’t be a waste of their time and effort”, Brazen Life says. Prove yourself by showing your contact that you’re already winning.

Important connections depend on effective communication. Take a little extra time when composing your next professional email.

Read the full article here: http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/how-to-get-people-to-respond-emails